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  • July 29, 2011
  • 03:48 AM

What Big Eyes You Have

by Neuroskeptic in Neuroskeptic

According to the BBC, a new study has found that northern peoples have bigger eyes - and bigger brains.Actually, the paper in question talked about eyes but didn't make much of the brain finding, which is confined to the Supplement. Nonetheless, they did find an effect on brain size too. Peoples living further from the equator have larger eye sockets and also larger total cranial capacity (brain volume), apparantly. The authors include Robin Dunbar of "Dunbar's Number" fame.Their idea is that hu........ Read more »

  • July 28, 2011
  • 07:00 AM

Book Review: "Elixir" by Brian Fagan

by Matthew Garcia in Hydro-Logic

"Elixir: A History of Water and Humankind" by Brian Fagan, published in 2011 by Bloomsbury Press, New York NY, ISBN 978-1-60819-003-4
... Read more »

Evans, D., Pottier, C., Fletcher, R., Hensley, S., Tapley, I., Milne, A., & Barbetti, M. (2007) A comprehensive archaeological map of the world's largest preindustrial settlement complex at Angkor, Cambodia. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(36), 14277-14282. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0702525104  

  • July 27, 2011
  • 01:45 PM

Thinking about how we think about landscapes

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

Take a look at the painting above. It’s one of Thomas Cole’s most famous works, commonly known as The Oxbow.¹ It’s got a little something for everyone. A twisted old tree. A menacing thunderstorm. Soaring cumulonimbus clouds. A spot of sunlight. A meandering river. Well manicured farm fields. I could go on and on. Part [...]... Read more »

  • July 27, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Female bosses can lower a man’s pay & prestige

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

When you see a picture of Tammy Wynette on our blog, you know it’s time for another installation of “sometimes it’s hard to be a woman”. This time we have new research on how a female boss in a traditionally male job can lower her male subordinate’s salary as well as his prestige. How can this be [...]

Related posts:Hard to be a woman? The beat goes on….
Redux: Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman (with appreciation to Tammy Wynette, Linda Ronstadt and Anne Reed)
“I didn’t kno........ Read more »

Brescoll, VL,, Uhlmann, EL, & Moss-Racusin, C. (2011) Masculinity, Status and Subordination: Why working for a gender stereotype violator causes men to lose status. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. info:/

  • July 26, 2011
  • 11:05 AM

Separating the Wheat from the Chaff: Will Industrialized Foods Be the End of Us?

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

There’s a sign hanging in my local deli that offers customers some tips on what to expect in terms of quality and service. It reads: Your order: Can be fast and good, but it won’t be cheap. Can be fast and cheap, but it won’t be good. Can be good and cheap, but it won’t [...]

... Read more »

  • July 25, 2011
  • 05:10 PM

Why do more children die when Pentecostals are around?

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

The US has a persistently high infant mortality rate when compared with other wealthy nations. The reasons for this a partly understood - poverty is a major risk factor for childhood death, And it's believed that the high levels of income and racial stratification could be to blame. Problems with health are infrastructure are also thought to contribute.

But could culture be partly to blame? Quite possibly, and one way to find out is to see whether the dominant culture in a region is linked to h........ Read more »

  • July 25, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Mock Jury Research: How do we make it more useful?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

The literature on mock juries has been criticized for years for use of convenience samples (i.e., college students). An upcoming issue of the journal Behavioral Sciences and the Law is devoted to examining mock jury research and assessing where we have been and where we need to go. The authors argue that since we are trying [...]

Related posts:Why do the African American mock jurors all sit together?
Should you try online jury research?
The “Nerd Defense”: Redux
... Read more »

Wiener RL, Krauss DA, & Lieberman JD. (2011) Mock Jury Research: Where Do We Go from Here?. Behavioral sciences . PMID: 21706517  

  • July 22, 2011
  • 12:58 PM

Sex, Lies, and Power = Lies about Power and Sex.

by Melanie Tannenbaum in PsySociety

Can we please stop sounding the depressing alarm claiming that all powerful men are destined to be cheating husbands? Yes, in recent history we’ve had Anthony Weiner and Arnold Schwarzenegger. But we’ve also had Barack Obama and Mark Wahlberg. However … Continue reading →... Read more »

Lammers, J., Stoker, J.I., Jordan, J., Pollmann, M., & Stapel, D.A. (2011) Power Increases Infidelity Among Men and Women. Psychological Science. PMID: 21771963  

Lichtenstein, S., Slovic, P., Fischhoff, B., Layman, M., & Combs, B. (1978) Judged frequency of lethal events. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, 4(6), 551-578. DOI: 10.1037/0278-7393.4.6.551  

  • July 22, 2011
  • 12:39 PM

Japan wins the FIFA Women’s World Cup, people care

by Ryo in Skeptikai

Who cares about the Women's World Cup? A whole hell of a lot of people. Continue reading →... Read more »

Rosenbaum DA, Sanghani RR, Woolen T, & Davis SW. (2011) Estimation of Injury Simulation in International Women's Football. Research in sports medicine (Print), 19(3), 162-9. PMID: 21722004  

  • July 22, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Simple Jury Persuasion: “You know you want to trust me!”

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

Sometimes it’s sort of scary to leave the house in the morning. There is a lot of scary research out there.  And now, we are told that it only takes two simple words to influence us to view a message more positively, act in accordance with that message, and positively view the message source. Wow. [...]

Related posts:Simple Jury Persuasion: Building Trust (but not) in Ten Easy Words
Simple Jury Persuasion: Liking + Identification = Impact
Simple Jury Persuasion: Make them eat brussel sprout........ Read more »

Legal, JB,, Chappe, J,, Coiffard, V., & Villard-Forest, A. (2011) Don’t you know that you want to trust me? Subliminal goal priming and persuasion. . Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. info:/

  • July 21, 2011
  • 01:01 PM

Coaxing more food from less land

by Tim De Chant in Per Square Mile

It’s easy to forget amidst the concern over sprawl that agriculture is still the dominant human impact on the land. Perhaps that’s because it’s easy to rationalize the consequences of agriculture’s land use—it feeds us, after all. But that shouldn’t dissuade us from finding ways to improve farm efficiency. Global population growth shows no signs of [...]... Read more »

Clay, J. (2011) Freeze the footprint of food. Nature, 475(7356), 287-289. DOI: 10.1038/475287a  

Foley, J. et al. (2005) Global Consequences of Land Use. Science, 309(5734), 570-574. DOI: 10.1126/science.1111772  

  • July 21, 2011
  • 10:17 AM

Linguistic diversity and traffic accidents

by Sean Roberts in A Replicated Typo 2.0

Daniel Nettle's model of linguistic diversity which showed that linguistic variation tends to decline even with a small amount of migration between communities. I wondered if statistics about population movement would correlate with linguistic diversity. I found that number of traffic fatalities are a pretty good predictor. What's going on?... Read more »

  • July 21, 2011
  • 03:00 AM

Obama cracks a joke to the Atlantis Shuttle Crew – So why wasn’t it funny?

by Stuart Farrimond in Dr Stu's Science Blog

In space, no one can hear the tumble-weed. Obama: “I was just dialing out for pizza, and I didn’t expect to end up in space…” Recently, the US President took some time out from his busy schedule to make a surprise phone call to the Space Shuttle Atlantis crew. Clearly in need of some light-hearted … Continue reading »... Read more »

  • July 20, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

Does desire trump beliefs based on facts when evaluating scientific evidence?

by Doug Keene in The Jury Room

You probably know the answer to this question is yes. But the real answer is much more nuanced, which makes it so much more interesting. As it happens, if you are conflicted about the facts, you are more likely to be swayed by your desires than the facts themselves.  When I was in graduate school, [...]

Related posts:Generation Y (aka the Millennials): Just the facts
Why facts don’t matter
Faulty Logic: Cannabis, psychosis and fish oil
... Read more »

  • July 20, 2011
  • 12:51 AM

The cult of personal responsibility

by Ingrid Piller in Language on the Move

Ads for a campaign to speak German are currently all over Germany. The campaign is called “Ich spreche Deutsch” (I speak German) and aims to convince migrant youths to learn more German or learn German faster. The campaign’s clever slogan … Continue reading →... Read more »

VIRGINIA P. COLLIER. (1989) How Long? A Synthesis of Research on Academic Achievement in a Second Language. TESOL Quarterly, 509-531. info:/

  • July 18, 2011
  • 10:00 AM

Better Know An Epidemiologist: Alexander Langmuir

by Mr Epidemiology in Mr Epidemiology

Better Know An Epidemiologist is an ongoing feature where Mr Epidemiology pays tribute to those who have set the stage for his generation of epidemiologists. All of the articles are listed here. Epidemiology is a relatively new field. While John Snow made his breakthrough in the 1850s, even as recently as World War 2, there [...]... Read more »

No authors listed. (1996) A tribute to Alexander D. Langmuir. American journal of epidemiology, 144(8 Suppl). PMID: 8928703  

Brachman PS. (1996) Alexander Duncan Langmuir. American journal of epidemiology, 144(8 Suppl). PMID: 8857846  

  • July 18, 2011
  • 09:30 AM

Communicating Meaning Online: A Digital Expression of Theory of Mind

by Krystal D'Costa in Anthropology in Practice

The growth of email, instant messaging, texting, and various other digitally-mediated communicative tools (DMC) has been rapid and pervasive. The majority of people today are comfortable enough to use these communicative tools on a daily basis, particularly among younger generations. DMC appears to be a preferred means of communication. But the popularity of DMC forces [...]

... Read more »

Jack RE, Blais C, Scheepers C, Schyns PG, & Caldara R. (2009) Cultural confusions show that facial expressions are not universal. Current biology : CB, 19(18), 1543-8. PMID: 19682907  

Kindred J, Roper S. (2004) Making connections via instant messenger (IM): student use of IM to maintain personal relationships. Qualitative Research Reports in Communication, 48-54. info:/

Wellman HM, & Liu D. (2004) Scaling of theory-of-mind tasks. Child development, 75(2), 523-41. PMID: 15056204  

  • July 18, 2011
  • 07:02 AM

The Danger of Stereotyping: Does Gay Black = Likable?

by Rita Handrich in The Jury Room

It’s an interesting question. We know from recent research that black criminal defendants who wear glasses may be viewed as less threatening (and therefore more likable). And we’re guessing that gay black men may also seem less threatening than heterosexual black men. By now you likely know we wouldn’t muse on this sort of question [...]

Related posts:The ‘artful dodge’: The danger of a smooth talker
You’re on trial: Is it better to be an atheist or a black radical Muslim lesbian?
........ Read more »

Remedios, JD,, Chasteen, AL,, Rule, NO,, & Plaks, JE. (2011) Impressions at the intersection of ambiguous and obvious social categories: Does gay Black . Journal of Experimental Social Psychology. info:/

  • July 17, 2011
  • 04:30 PM

Risk averse Taiwanese are also more religious

by Tom Rees in Epiphenom

The infamous 'Pascal's Wager' is still often trotted out as a supposedly rational basis for believing in god. While the flaws in that one are well known, it is still commonly believed that risk-averse people are more likely to be religious. Better to go to Church than run the risk of being fried in the hereafter, the supposition goes.

Actually, evidence that risk-averse people are more religious is  weaker than you might suppose. What's more, there's no reason to think that it applies in t........ Read more »

  • July 17, 2011
  • 11:27 AM

The Google Stroop Effect?

by The Neurocritic in The Neurocritic

The Google logo.Notice the logo is multi-colored (as pointed out by Neurobonkers). Seeing "Google" printed in a solid color (or in any other font, for that matter) would likely result in a Stroop effect, or a slower response time in identifying the color of the font, relative to that of a neutral word.Is Google making us stupid?That question, and its original exposition in The Atlantic, has been furthering the career of Nicholas G. Carr. His subsequent book, The Shallows: What the Internet Is Do........ Read more »

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